Springsteen in Cardiff for latest leg of marathon tour

Bruce Springsteen has begun the latest leg of his marathon 21-country tour in Cardiff.

"The Boss" - famed for hits like Dancing in the Dark, Born in the USA and Born to Run - played at the Principality Stadium on Sunday evening.

Springsteen's tour was postponed by the pandemic and then delayed when he developed a stomach ulcer, leaving the US rock legend fearful that he might never sing again.

"You sing with your diaphragm. My diaphragm was hurting so badly that when I went to make the effort to sing, it was killing me," he told SiriusXM.

"So I literally couldn’t sing at all. And that lasted for two or three months, along with just a myriad of other painful problems."

But the 74-year-old returned to the stage in March and is now set to play 26 stadium shows in Europe - including gigs in Belfast, Sunderland, London and Ireland - before returning to North America.

"We have incredible fans in the UK," Springsteen told Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2.

"Our biggest audiences are here, we're much bigger here than we are in America and it's so deeply appreciated after all of these years we've been coming here and playing."

'I have loved him for years'

As well as playing his huge back catalogue, Springsteen will also be promoting his 21st studio album Only the Strong Survive.

"I'm excited about this record because I know our UK fans are huge soul fanatics and that music over here has had a second life that it doesn't always have in the States," the rocker said.

Mark Cundy
Mark Cundy has seen Bruce Springsteen in concert 37 times [BBC]

Mark Cundy, from Lincolnshire, travelled to Cardiff to see Springsteen for the 37th time.

“I’ve been to every tour since I went to see him in 1985 on the Born in the USA tour," the 58-year-old said.

“He’s the best live performer that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen the Stones, David Bowie, Queen and The Who. His shows are just amazing.”

Steven and Catherine Whitehorn
Steven Whitehorn says the American rock legend's lyrics "just change people's universes" [BBC]

Steven and Catherine Whitehorn, from Cwmbran, said they were looking forward to the gig.

It is Steven’s sixth time seeing “The Boss”, and Catherine’s first.

“I first saw him in 1986 in Philadelphia, but to see him in my home town is just marvellous,” Steven said.

Jan Holden, 59, who travelled to Cardiff from Liverpool for the event, said Springsteen was one of the best songwriters of his generation.

“I have loved him for years," she said.

“I first went to a gig in 2012 in Coventry with my son."

A man stood with two women
Jan (middle) with her son and daughter-in-law ahead of the Cardiff concert [BBC]

Springsteen is renowned for his marathon three-hour sets and has promised the same on this tour, which began in February 2023 and will end in November.

"Most bands stick to a very limited amount of material that they play on a tour," the star previously told the BBC.

"But I'm proud my guys can turn on a dime and play something they haven't played in years and haven't heard in a long time.

"It's good for fans, particularly those that come to loads of shows. I have very dedicated fans who come to more than one show and I like to play a different show."

Springsteen has sold 140 million records worldwide and has a fortune of more than £515m.

He was Forbes' highest earning musician for the third time in 2021 after selling his entire musical catalogue.

He has won numerous accolades for his music, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award.

Earlier this year, he became the first American to be awarded one of the highest honours in songwriting - the Fellowship of the Ivors Academy - joining artists like Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and Kate Bush.

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